• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 03


Walls are thin between the rest rooms. Late last night I heard the big boys talking about a special "scissors" they had found on the playground and what they are going to do with it the next night, “Before the guards realize it is gone,” whispered a voice I knew was my cousin Jorje.

I struggled to stay awake the next night, stepped over my sleeping friends and on a stepstool meant for the sink, peered out the small window to watch for them. When the moon slipped behind a cloud, I saw the usually locked door to the playground open and the three of them sidled out, dropped down to the ground, and crawled toward the fence like the lizards who come in and out the fence to play with me.

There, one stood up and used this “scissors” to clip clip clip at the wire of this large square cage that kept us in. One by one, they slipped through the hole they had made, the last boy dancing silently when he came through—the others grabbing him quickly by the arms and dragging him along as they headed for the woods on the other side of the sandy expanse that lay around us like a beach with no ocean.

I tried to sleep but could not. When sun glowed through the window, I tiptoed through the hall and found the outside door, still unlocked. I saw the tape the boys had used to fool the lock and stepped outside. As I walked toward the opening, I looked up and smiled at the sun as he transformed the dark of night into blues, ever lighter, brighter, tinged with orange, revealing the white of the sand around us—until I reached the fence and then I saw the red—and once I saw it, red was all I could see. Blood. Life poured out upon the ground. I raised up my hand and felt the sharp place. Saw the “scissors” on the ground outside the fence and a trail of blood leading into toward the woods. I said a quick prayer that the blood was not Jorje’s.



I was about to carefully step through when a guard grabbed me.
“No you don’t muchacha, no one else is getting out.”
I heard the others say that the boys would not last long “out there.”

That afternoon they fixed the fence, but blood remained on the play area, on the area beyond. Two guards walked the trail of blood but came back alone. I smiled. Blood was lost, but the three boys Jorje, my cousin, Alejandro and Jesus, his friends, were gone. Blood was lost and found at the fence, but they were free.